NEWS & ADVICE : CREDIT CARDS
Bank found pressing for Insurance while opening accounts
By Vaibhav Aggarwal
Jan 16, 2008
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New Delhi: Don't be surprised if you visit one of the leading public sector bank for opening of an account and are forced to buy an insurance policy. Though, completely unrelated product, looks like the bank has found new way to add profits to its insurance bottom-line.

One of the premier public sector in the country has its employees dictating the terms that buying an insurance policy is 'necessary' with opening a bank account as this was a part of the scheme. The concerned branch is located in suburban Mumbai.

When the bank manager was approached about the problem he confessed that there was no such scheme but he had strong reasons to promote the insurance with the bank account. "Private banks have high minimum balance requirements and compared to them this insurance policy was a better trade-off," he said. Ironically the customer approaching the bank is being forced to buy a policy from the insurance partner of bank. No choice is given to the customer regarding the policies and since the premium is very less the insurance cover is also be of a relatively lower value, which makes it a no deal. This instant was specific to this branch only other branches of the same bank were not having such 'scheme'.

A lack of awareness among customers and general public is the main reason while people are forced to buy such schemes. A simple mention of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and banking ombudsman had the manager running for cover. Unfair practices such as these are blatantly being used to fill up the bank coffers and if a customer doesn't resist and ask the rationale, these errant offers are going to crop up everywhere. A simple remedy would be to approach the senior bank officials with the complaint and tell them about the whole issue. If they don't help there is RBI and the banking ombudsman.


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